How To Make An Impact Report

how to create an impact report

How To Make An Impact Report

If you are leading a nonprofit organization, you need an impact report. 

We are on the THIRD week of our email series, 2023 Fundraising Checklist: How To Prepare For An Incredible End Of Year. This may be the most important week so far.

Impact Reporting is not just a way to show donors what you’ve been up to; it’s a way to gain trust through clear communication, transformative stories, easy-to-understand infographics, and genuine gratitude. 

Transparency is vital. 

If you’re new here, you may not know what an impact report is. That’s okay! This is the best possible place to learn. An Impact Report is a document that shares your organization’s short- and long-term achievements. 

Think about it this way, your impact is the change your organization creates, and your impact report will reflect that change. 

Take a look at this blog, where we tell you exactly why you need one, and then this blog for how to create one.

Donors Are Drawn to Transparency

After even a short interaction with donor relations, it’s easy to see that donors are busy. They don’t have time for meaningless chatter. They want clear and direct communication. If you can achieve that, then you will gain trust. Aim for clear communication and transparency in your impact report.

This helps donors connect the dots between their contributions and your organization’s mission, building their trust and commitment. Ultimately encouraging continued support and even increased giving.

Success Stories and Data-Driven Storytelling

Stories can’t be undercut from an Impact Report. The key is finding the right way to tell them.

Data-driven storytelling transforms raw numbers and metrics into a compelling narrative. By weaving together quantitative data with real-life experiences and outcomes, data-driven storytelling breathes life into the otherwise abstract figures, making them relatable and engaging for donors. 

This strategy is super helpful for the numbers. Still, it also showcases the journey of your beneficiaries and their communities, connecting donors to your organization’s very tangible impact.

Visual Representation

So now you want to employ data-driven storytelling, but how do you do it?

Visual representation! Infographics, photos (and not stock photos), and charts do more than numbers on a page. When you use these, you’ll see the following:

  • Enhanced Understanding
  • Increased Engagement
  • Emotional Connection
Visual representation in an impact report significantly enhances clarity, engagement, and emotional impact, ultimately strengthening your organization’s communication with donors.

Key Elements That Every Impact Report Needs To Wow Your Funders

  • Proof that your organization is making an impact
    • What are the outputs and outcomes of your nonprofit programs? Show donors how you are making a positive difference in society with their funds.
  • Validated Research Tools
    • What tools are you using to measure short-term and long-term impact? Make it clear HOW you are measuring impact
  • Data-Driven Stories of Transformation
    • There are two primary things donors need from you to trust you.
      • Impact data
      • Stories of transformation
  • An Inspiring Vision For The Future
    • Show your funders where you are going as an organization
  • A Clear Path For Donors To Follow
    • Invite your funders into the story and show them how their role makes a real difference
  • Clear Calls To Action
    • What are you expecting from your funders after reading your impact report? Whatever your expectations, make a clear call to action so there is no confusion as to what they should do next!

Watch this video explaining the 6 Key Elements of a nonprofit impact report.

Conclusion

Now you know your impact is the change your company creates, and your impact report will reflect that change.

By creating an impact report, you can create a comprehensive and compelling impact report that effectively showcases your organization’s reach, achievements, and ongoing commitment to making a difference.

Even better, we’ll create an impact report for your organization!

We’re a team of experts who have helped many organizations create meaningful impact reports and raise significant funds.

From writing to design, we can help you build an impact report to communicate your organization’s impact and inspire others to support your work.

Reach out to us today to talk more about your next impact report, and stay tuned for our next email in this series, where we’ll talk about Outputs vs. Outcomes and which your donors actually care about.

A compelling impact report builds trust and transparency, reinforcing the importance of ongoing donor support.

If you want to learn more about Social Impact Solutions and learn about insightful tips and tricks, read our End-of-Year Checklist and be sure to read all 10 blogs. Also, be sure to take our popular Fundraising Quiz to see how your organization compares to other nonprofits. We have a free course that accompanies the quiz that we know you’ll love.

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